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Tournaments | Story | 10/12/2019

Indiana Bulls Earn Their Spot

Blake Dowson        
Photo: Brady Strawmyer (Perfect Game)
2019 WWBA Freshman World Championship Event Page | Indiana Bulls Fall 2023 vs. BL101 Real Ballers 2023 National Game Recap | Indiana Bulls Fall 2023 vs. FTB - Nugent Game Recap

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Georgia. Florida. Texas. Baseball states.

Those are the ones that come to mind, right?

Indiana Bulls Fall 2023 has heard that over and over again. Indiana isn’t a baseball state. It’s a basketball state. Kids from the Midwest have no business competing against the southern states because it’s just not the same level of competition.

Well, the Bulls stamping their name onto the playoff bracket at the WWBA Freshman World Championship seems to contradict that a bit.

“I don’t know if there is, but it seems like sometimes there’s a lack of respect for boys from Indiana, for sure,” Indiana Bulls head coach Quinn Moore said after the team sealed a spot in the playoffs. “These boys can play. We proved that.”

Moore’s squad gets it done in just about every little way imaginable.

Game two starting pitcher Brady Strawmyer didn’t blow up the radar guns pointed toward the field, but he filled up the strike zone and forced FTB – Nugent to take their hacks, which turned into only three hits over four innings off Strawmyer in a 2-1 Bulls win.

Combined with their 3-3 tie against BL101 Real Ballers 2023 National Team to move their record to 1-0-1 in the pool, Indiana Bulls Fall 2023 will move on.

Throwing strikes and pitching to contact are one of the most important keys for a team to have success in the WWBA Freshman Worlds, and Strawmyer delivered in a big way in a winner-take-all matchup against FTB for the pool championship.

“He’ll throw three pitches for a strike. He’ll keep you off-balance,” Moore said of his starting pitcher. “If you sit offspeed, next thing you know he’ll blow a fastball by you. It’s not like he’s the hardest thrower in the world, be he still can sneak it past you.”

Strawmyer can be filed in the “funky lefthander” category. His knee goes up, and then down. His glove is way above his head, and his throwing hand is down by his knee. Then they trade places.

And all of a sudden, he’s inducing weak contact that his defense gobbled up all day.

Nash Wagner and Brett Sherrard followed in Strawmyer’s footsteps, pitching to contact and getting a ton of groundballs to stymy an FTB lineup that had scored 15 runs in its first game of the Freshman Worlds.

“Pitching threw strikes,” Moore said. “If they throw strikes, we’re typically going to play good defense behind them. I’m very happy with the pitching.”

The pitchers carried the load and the offense did just enough to push them through. Picking up from its pitchers, the Bulls lineup did a lot of little things right.

Those tend to add up to big wins.

The offense showed it was willing to move runners in any way, whether it be laying down a sacrifice bunt, fly, or stealing a bag.

The winning run of the winner-take-all game came around to score after a Carter Murphy single to left field was bobbled for half a second, allowing Matthew Santana to round third base hard and score on the play in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Give an inch, and they will run with it.

Moore knew his team was in for a challenge when rain made it necessary to shuffle the pools on Saturday morning.

His team was up for it, which he said was par for the course so far this fall.

“We scrap,” he said. “We’ve been in a couple tournaments [this fall] and we’ve found ways to crawl back and win. We’re a scrappy bunch, and a good bunch.”

And of course, the team the Bulls beat to get into the playoffs, FTB, is based out of Florida.

“It feels good,” he continued. “We were placed with a couple really good teams, so we’re happy to get through. When we saw the draw, we were like, ‘Okay, we’re in for a dog fight.’ But it turned out good and the boys played well.”

With a 1-0-1 record, Indiana will likely not be one of the top seeds in the playoff bracket.

That’s okay, because they knew coming down to West Palm Beach all the way from Indiana would label them as underdogs from the start.

That’s fun. For the Bulls, there’s no reason to play with anything less than reckless abandon.

Moore said no matter how the playoffs turn out, though, the experience for his players is one they won’t soon forget.

“We’ve been coming down to Jupiter [for the WWBA Worlds], but this is the first year we’ve come down to the Freshman,” he said. “We’ll recommend it to all of our teams…The kids love it. Obviously, playing in these facilities, you can’t beat it. These kids are going into their freshman year and they’re getting to play in a [Spring Training] park, can’t beat it.”



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